Gaslight [VHS] With Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer
New Condition - Still factory sealed!
One of the classical greats, which led to current use of the term "gaslighting" as making some one think they're losing it mentally in order to manipulate them. Some of the premise may seem a little weak, but fits the kind of filmmaking made at the time.
Breakout performance by Angela Lansbury (Sweeney Todd, Murder She Wrote) when she was just 18, super suave but unusually sinister performance by Charles Boyer (French actor who was called a "Latin lover"), dashing performance by Joseph Cotten (collaborated with Orson Welles), elegant performance by Ingrid Bergman (winner of three Academy Awards and more, and once voted the 4th greatest actress of all time), and great/amusing busybody role by Dame May Whitty.
If you like old films (1944) or you'd like to know about the origin of "gaslighting" this is a can't-miss.
Twice orphaned girl (first by mother and then by murdered aunt who raised her) marries foreign man while abroad only to return to the house her aunt raised her in. Things start disappearing. Even the audience doesn't know how they disappear. "Weird" stuff starts happening like things being moved around the house. Even the audience doesn't know. Noises are heard upstairs where no one is allowed. The gas lights lower at night as a sign that someone else is in the house using gas--straining the supply so the lights lower in other rooms. The husband mysteriously disappears every evening. He has the top floor of the house blocked off for some odd reason. The aunt's murder was not really solved. Scotland Yard is introduced talking about the case. The husband begins to think the wife is mad. The wife thinks she is mad. The audience questions her sanity.
Classic murder/thriller mystery. The aunts murder is not really the focus but the cause of the events. Is it the mad wife? Is the it the loose maid who you question is messing around with the husband? Is it the weird foreign husband? Classic mystery. While I really can't stand watching movies about weak people being manipulated this was a pretty good movie. It was entertaining like movies should be. Nothing scandalous. Nothing shocking. Nothing offensive. Just a good story. And of course in the end all wrongs are righted so you don't have that miserable feeling like modern day movies and TV show would leave you feeling just so that they can be "different"--have an unpredictable ending. This movie could have taken the turn that modern day soap operas have where the evil characters continue to victimize the good characters where the good characters are just that--victims and annoying. But it doesn't. You also start to think that perhaps this is a precursor to the modern day slasher movies where the damsel in distress is a mindless, helpless, quivering rabbit, leaving you irritated at how stupid the character is. But right before you want to give up on it it turns itself around. Of course in this era you have the dramatic music that is supposed to highten the emotions which is kinda silly in some spots. You have the over the top acting in some spots--the looks, the quick turns, the close up of the eyes, etc. But all in all this is a good movie and these things are just minor distractions.